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Almost half a century ago, Jean-Luc Godard famously remarked, "I await the end of cinema with optimism." Lots of us have been waiting for - and wondering about - this prophecy ever since. The way films are made and exhibited has changed significantly. Films, some of which are not exactly "films" anymore, can now be projected in a wide variety of ways - on screens in revamped high tech theaters, on big, high-resolution TVs, on little screens in minivans and laptops. But with all this new gear, all these new ways ...
Almost half a century ago, Jean-Luc Godard famously remarked, "I await the end of cinema with optimism." Lots of us have been waiting for - and wondering about - this prophecy ever since. The way films are made and exhibited has changed significantly. Films, some of which are not exactly "films" anymore, can now be projected in a wide variety of ways - on screens in revamped high tech theaters, on big, high-resolution TVs, on little screens in minivans and laptops. But with all this new gear, all these new ways of viewing films, are we necessarily getting different, better movies?
The thirty-four brief essays in The End of Cinema as We Know It attend a variety of topics, from film censorship and preservation to the changing structure and status of independent cinema - from the continued importance of celebrity and stardom to the sudden importance of alternative video. While many of the contributors explore in detail the pictures that captured the attention of the nineties film audience, such as Jurassic Park, Eyes Wide Shut, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, The Wedding Banquet, The Matrix, Independence Day, Gods and Monsters, The Nutty Professor, and Kids, several essays consider works that fall outside the category of film as it is conventionally defined - the home "movie" of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's honeymoon and the amateur video of the LAPD beating of Rodney King.
Examining key films and filmmakers, the corporate players and industry trends, film styles and audio-visual technologies, the contributors to this volume spell out the end of cinema in terms of irony, cynicism and exhaustion, religious fundamentalism and fanaticism, and the decline of what we once used to call film culture.
Contributors include: Paul Arthur, Wheeler Winston Dixon, Thomas Doherty, Thomas Elsaesser, Krin Gabbard, Henry Giroux, Heather Hendershot, Jan-Christopher Hook, Alexandra Juhasz, Charles Keil, Chuck Klienhans, Jon Lewis, Eric S. Mallin, Laura U. Marks, Kathleen McHugh, Pat Mellencamp, Jerry Mosher, Hamid Naficy, Chon Noriega, Dana Polan, Murray Pomerance, Hillary Radner, Ralph E. Rodriguez, R.L. Rutsky, James Schamus, Christopher Sharrett, David Shumway, Robert Sklar, Murray Smith, Marita Sturken, Imre Szeman, Frank P. Tomasulo, Maureen Turim, Justin Wyatt, and Elizabeth Young.
"Brief on brilliant cocktail conversation? This reader-friendly collection will help you apply Foucault to Keanu, Derrida to Spielberg, Macbeth to Blair Witch, and pull it off with panache. Stimulating in small doses, its 34 essays deconstruct 1990s cinema, and the decade too, with intellectual vigor and a wry sense of humor."
"The End of Cinema As We Know It is at once academic and popular in the best sense of both terms-intelligent and erudite critical analysis conveyed through accessible and gracefully written prose. Just like the cinema of the '90s itself, this collection of thirty-four smart and sprightly essays refuses to be bound by traditional categories. Free from the homogenized consensus that too often results from the supposed advantage of historical distance, these broadly ranging essays on a period still fresh in our memory necessarily pose more questions than they answer. But they are good provocative questions and it is precisely this spirit of free-wheeling inquiry and fearless speculation that makes the book so enjoyable to read."
-Robert Rosen,Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television
"The End of Cinema provides an enjoyable reading with a good balance of academic and popular qualities."
-American Studies International,June 2002
"The End of Cinema as We Know It: American Cinema in the Nineties, is an encouraging step in a new direction. In it, we find an impressive assembly of established as well as younger scholars grappling both with pop-film and industry concerns."
|The End of Cinema As We Know It and I Feel ...: An Introduction to a Book on Nineties American Film||1|
|I||Movies, Money, and History|
|1||The Blockbuster: Everything Connects, but Not Everything Goes||11|
|2||Those Who Disagree Can Kiss Jack Valenti's Ass||23|
|3||The Hollywood History Business||33|
|4||The Man Who Wanted to Go Back||43|
|II||Things American (Sort Of)|
|5||"American" Cinema in the 1990s and Beyond: Whose Country's Filmmaking Is It Anyway?||53|
|6||Marketing Marginalized Cultures: The Wedding Banquet, Cultural Identities, and Independent Cinema of the 1990s||61|
|7||Hollywood Redux: All about My Mother and Gladiator||72|
|III||Four Key Films|
|8||The Zen of Masculinity - Rituals of Heroism in The Matrix||83|
|9||Ikea Boy Fights Back: Fight Club, Consumerism, and the Political Limits of Nineties Cinema||95|
|10||The Blair Witch Project, Macbeth, and the Indeterminate End||105|
|11||Empire of the Gun: Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan and American Chauvinism||115|
|12||Saving Private Ryan Too Late||131|
|IV||Pictures and Politics|
|13||The Confusions of Warren Beatty||141|
|14||Movie Star Presidents||150|
|15||The Fantasy Image: Fixed and Moving||158|
|16||Men with Guns: The Story John Sayles Can't Tell||168|
|17||The End of Chicano Cinema||175|
|V||The End of Masculinity As We Know It|
|19||Woody Allen, "the Artist," and "the Little Girl"||195|
|20||Affliction: When Paranoid Male Narratives Fail||203|
|21||The Phallus UnFetished: The End of Masculinity As We Know It in Late-1990s "Feminist" Cinema||210|
|VI||Bodies at Rest and in Motion|
|22||Bods and Monsters: The Return of the Bride of Frankenstein||225|
|23||Having Their Cake and Eating It Too: Fat Acceptance Films and the Production of Meaning||237|
|25||The Case of Harmony Korine||261|
|26||Where Hollywood Fears to Tread: Autobiography and the Limits of Commercial Cinema||269|
|27||Smoke 'til You're Blue in the Face||277|
|VIII||Not Films Exactly|
|28||Pamela Anderson on the Slippery Slope||287|
|29||King Rodney: The Rodney King Video and Textual Analysis||300|
|31||End of Story: The Collapse of Myth in Postmodern Narrative Film||319|
|32||Waiting for the End of the World: Christian Apocalyptic Media at the Turn of the Millennium||332|
|33||The Four Last Things: History, Technology, Hollywood, Apocalypse||342|
|34||Twenty-five Reasons Why It's All Over||356|